The Party (1968)

Made in 1968 The Party was a collaboration between Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards which didn’t involve a certain Pink Panther and bonkers French detective.  It however introduced us to Hrundi V. Bakshi one of India’s ‘finest’ thespians.

Bakshi is brought over from his homeland to star in a big budget action film but somehow manages to blow up the set.  Although there isn’t a bad bone in his body and he’s incredibly nice, he’s still fired by a studio bigwig.  Unfortunately due to a ‘clerical error’ Hrundi is invited to a swanky Hollywood party, hence the movie’s title.

Extensively improvised by Sellers and the script team, the film is filled to the brim with some wonderful slapstick humour and a fair bit of biting satire on the Hollywood system.  Of course Sellers steals the show as Bakshi who is a generally lovely bloke but is rivalled by Steve Franken who portrays a waiter who gradually gets more drunk as the film continues.

Being made at the end of the sixties, the film is filled with cool fashions and questionable decor which looks pretty darn good on this Blu-ray presentation.  Henry Mancini’s score just screams quality and is constant throughout the picture.

Sellers and Edwards’ creation of Bakshi is a comedic revelation and it’s a real shame that we never met him again.  Some people may find the character of Bakshi with his outrageous accent and Sellers being made up to look Indian offensive in these PC times.  Possibly more offensive however is the nastiness and hypocrisy of some of the revellers attending the actual gathering.  Get past that and you’re find The Party one of the funniest films of the 60’s (and possibly all time) and can easily stand proud along with the very best in the Edwards’ Clouseau films.

  • Starring Peter Sellers  Claudine Longet  Steve Franken  J. Edward McKinley
  • Director Blake Edwards
  • Distributor Eureka!